Eating clean in the morning doesn’t have to take a lot out of you if you plan ahead, shop smart and keep your fridge and cupboards stocked with light, whole, healthy fare. Incorporate these ideas into your breakfast rotation and watch your energy grow and your health blossom.
Egg It Up
Nothing beats eggs for pure protein power, but most of us have limited repertoires. Once you get sick of scrambled or fried, what else is there to do? Good news: a lot. Swap out labor intensive omelets for frittatas, which combine veggies, olives, cheese or other healthy fillings with an egg base cooked on the stovetop and then popped into the oven for a finish. On top of being easy, there’s always leftovers.
Get Creative with Veggies
Vegetables are an underrated breakfast food, and rarely appear on American tables before lunchtime. Yet the right vitamins and nutrients, courtesy of veggie powerhouses such as spinach, red pepper or squash, can make a huge difference in your energy level. Did you know that in many Middle Eastern countries, salad is often served at breakfast? While that might not suit your lifestyle, try to get your greens other ways: blended in smoothies, cooked into eggs or roasted alongside potatoes for a flavorful novelty.
Minimize the Sweets
Breakfast smoothies should be nutrient-packed body boosters, not sugar bombs. Yet too often, smoothie recipes advise combining eight kinds of fruit with honey and dates, which essentially results in your mainlining fructose. While there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bath water, it’s important to move closer to the intended idea of smoothies: a mix of ingredients that deliver nutrition, energy and wellbeing. Cut the super-sugary extras, like bananas or sweeteners, and incorporate more carrots, apples and greens.
Sneak Extra Nutrients
Not everything that’s good for you is necessarily delicious. The human palate craves fat, flavor and sweetness … not flax seeds, almond meal and wheat germ. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get those healthy ingredients anyway. Stir cooked quinoa and flax seeds into your next batch of granola, scoop some butternut squash puree into your next smoothie, and sprinkle bee pollen on anything and everything.
Sometimes it’s just fun to shake things up. For instance, make waffles out of sweet potato puree and coconut flour rather than the traditional wheat flour and egg mixture. Or stir shredded carrots and apples into your next batch of oatmeal for veggie-tastic flavor. Instead of pouring your smoothie in a glass, hop on the smoothie bowl bandwagon, topping with tons of nuts and fruit.
Next time you’re tempted to pop a frozen waffle into the toaster, try one of these ideas instead. You might be surprised by their simplicity and the ease with which you adopt them, and the difference they make in your morning and your life.